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$400 - VMs, Handbrake SD, and Whatever Gaming I Can Do

robertalpizar
  • 56 months ago

My only modern machine, an A8-3500M HP black friday special from 2011 is finally dying. Parts are starting to just die on an almost weekly basis, so it's time to replace. I'm on an EXTREMLY tight budget for parts as I'm trying to save up to get a new car asap.

I can shunt about $400 over to this build.

The laptop has served me well these past 4 years, but it's limitations have made me see what my actual priorities are.

Aside from the usual web, office, etc the following are my requirements:

  • I need to be able to run some older windows VMs every once in awhile for forensic research
  • I've spent years in Handbrake converting my still massive DVD and VHS collections. I just run the standard High preset, no matter what it is in whatever version of handbrake is current.
    • Now that there is GPU acceleration for x264 in Handbrake, being able to take advantage of that would be helpful.
  • I don't play too many intensive games. Minecraft, Civ V, and random indie steam games with my buddies multiplayer. Would like to finally be able to play some older games that I've had sitting in my steam library; the Arkham games, Battlefieds, CoDs, stuff like that.
  • Whatever case has to be able to hold 3 or 4 3.5" hard drives so I can stop using a ghetto pile of external cases and such.

The actual parts list needs to consist of:

  • CPU
  • Motherboard
  • RAM
  • Case (top mounted front ports if possible)
  • PSU
  • Video card...if there's room in the budget. Something with a passable IGP comparable to what's in my current machine would be miminum otherwise.

Thanks in advance for anything you guys can help me with.

Here are a few builds I've specc'd out, but I haven't built a machine in years so all help is appreciated:

AMD: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xrDYjX http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cZ2PrH

Intel: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vfyhHx http://pcpartpicker.com/p/6jJKrH

Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Change the 860k rigs ram to ddr3 1600 and go with at least a 260x or maybe a gtx 960 worth the money hands down.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

The second AMD build is what I would pick. The power supply is bad tho so I would change that out for a seasonic s12

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Would switching from FM2+ to am AM3+ setup help with multitasking? I could swap in an 8320 or something, OC it a bit. The extra threads it can handle should hold me over no?

I should have mentioned it in the OP, but I tend to do all of these things at the same time. :)

Right now, I have 15 chrome tabs, Outlook, Word and Excel both with multiple files, multiple IRC sessions, Minecraft, Spotify, 2 VMWare Player instances running...across 3 monitors including the internal. All of this on the laptop I described at first. It's an HP dv6-6117dx upgraded to 8gigs of RAM, otherwise stock.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-8320E 3.2GHz 8-Core Processor $126.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard Asus M5A97 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard $79.99 @ Amazon
Memory Mushkin Proline 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $54.99 @ Newegg
Video Card Gigabyte Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card $112.98 @ Newegg
Case Deepcool TESSERACT WH ATX Mid Tower Case $35.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $42.30 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $453.24
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-18 22:44 EDT-0400
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Going 50 over budget here, i'd suggest lowering the video card to just one RAM and leaving it there, to lower it with 20-30 dollars

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

It's alright. Just trying to keep my wallet honest :)

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Heck yea.

No.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, for the sake of doing this a lot quicker, I've made the following changes.

I'll be going with this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MwwNCJ

The 8-"core" FX chip will fill my needs better than the 4 cores of the APU.

I removed the case for now as I've got a BEAST of a Chieftec DX-01 I can reuse.

I can forgo buying a video card as I've got a pair of 4850s and I can drop one into the build until I put together the cash to get a read card. I can wait on playing more modern games until I get a new card and this will suffice for the non-gaming things I do. Minecraft should run just fine on it anyway :)

Thanks for all the opinions and help. Still open to thoughts if anyone has any.

[comment deleted]

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